Kasteel Donker | Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

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Kasteel DonkerKasteel Donker
BA SCORE
4.12/5
Exceptional
922 Ratings
Kasteel DonkerKasteel Donker
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
Belgium
vanhonsebrouck.be

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-14-2001

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#2,146
Reviews:
406
Ratings:
922
pDev:
13.35%
Bros Score:
4.8
 
 
Wants:
100
Gots:
178
Trade:
3
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 922 |  Reviews: 406
Photo of Wildman
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a very dark amber, almost black color and formed a small light tan bubbly head that coated the glass with lace as it subsided. A medium amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, caramel and coffee with a hint of the alcohol present. A flavor of malt, caramel, raisins and dark fruit with a hint of chocolate. The body is fairly light with a sweet finish. Not a bad beer that hides it's alcohol level well.

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Photo of eric5bellies
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from my Duvel Tulip.

A - Pours a dark Brown colour with hints of copper. The head is off White and reduces quickly.

S - Sweet aromas of burnt sugars, and spice, malts are present as caramel.

T - Quite sweet sugars up front before some nice burnt caramel kicks in, followed by dark fruits and cherries. The finish is long with spice and booze.

M - Medium carbonation and body.

O - This is another very solid beer from Kasteel and recommended.

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Photo of cvstrickland
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2-ounce stubby poured into a goblet yields a deep chestnut body with plenty of sediment in suspension, capped with light khaki foam that recedes to a ring leaving fine webby lacing on the glass.

The smell of the drink is fruity and malty, with a whiff of overripe banana and mushy caramel-covered apple. A warm bready note ties things together.

The taste of the drink is fruity and sweet. Alcohol makes a first appearance, with plenty flavors of banana and plum macerated in dark rum. The booziness grows a bit and a crisp note of red apple emerges as the drink progresses, as does a soft vinous note of dry merlot and a trace of a not-unpleasant metallic note.

The feel of the drink is just about perfect. The drink is soft, light, and well-carbonated, and is about as quaffable as a big 11% abv brew can be.

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Photo of TheSarge
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Kasteel Bruin pours with a minimal amount of dark tan head. After a vigorous pour, there was only about a half an inch thick head, and seemed to dissipate rather quickly. The body is deep dark ruby red, when held up to sunlight, and seems to be will filtered.

The smell is of dark over ripe cherries, a hint of vanilla, and a finish of sweet bready malts.

In the taste, the cherry character is certainly there, with a cola like quality as well.

The detection of alcohol is a little too much. I know this is a higher ABV brew, but I think the alcohol is too much in the mouth feel. This is also a little syrupy and almost more than full bodied.

I think this is an overall good beer, and probably should've waited until colder times to sample this bruin.

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Photo of mmilyko
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of AdamBear
3.68/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-dark maroon brown, thin white head

S-very, very sweet belgian sugars. they smell slightly caramelized, medium strength

T-well this is very clean, crisp, and sweet. the alcohol note is present and fairly strong. there's a good mixture of berries and belgian sugars, with the sugars dominating the after-taste.

M-medium carbonation with a slightly dry finish

D-oh boy, the ABV on this one comes in to play. a better one of this style that i've had and i truly do want to have this again. not an easy drinker, but definitely a happy drinker.

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Photo of HoppyBastard1
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of jwps214
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of BeerResearcher
4.29/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25.4oz dark green bottle. Bottled on date stamped on back label.
Poured into an Allagash tulip glass.
The color is a deep leathery brown color with a thin beige head and some sticky trailing lace.
Nice rich smells of chocolate malt, molasses, dark rum, resinous hops and banana bread all blend together.
The flavors lean heavily towards the malt end of the spectrum. Figs, dates, doughy brown bread and rum cake are deep and rich. Resinous and citrusy hops temper the sweetness somewhat. Velvety rummy alcoholic notes are quite present.
The body is fairly heavy and slightly oily (in a good way).
For such a heavy brew, it's very gulpable, and that could prove dangerous.
Donker is a funny name.

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Photo of janubio
4.8/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Brown head with few bubbles. It doesn't last much and leaves almost no lace. Brown reddish very nice colour. Nose of chocolate, cherries, apricots and plums. A hint of vanilla. Sugar cane, alcohol, sherry aged wine. Heavy sweet flavor, I think that I notice it more in the 75 cl. bottle than in the 33 cl one. Don't know why, lately I find the sweetness a bit artificial. Mouth of chocolate, brandy, cherries, plums, apricots, sherry aged wine again, sugar cane, aniseed. A beer of the gods. One of them. Too complex to find all the characters in one taste.

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Photo of asabreed
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle poured into a wine glass.

Another beer from the cellar, purchased most likely in 2005. Best by date notched at 3/2010.

Appearance: A murky creek water reddish brown color, with some minnow-like bubbles floating to the top. Soapy and fairly quickly dissipating white but kind of off-white head leaves some droplets around the glass.

Smell: Toffee, caramel, and raisins at the forefront, with candied dark fruit, mild chocolate, and earthy and mildly funked up cider vinegar. Some bready, doughy, yeasty malt sweetness too. A bit of cookie cake. Maybe the murkiness of the brew means the yeast has somehow disseminated throughout the bottle before the pour, even though I was careful with it not to disturb the yeast. Heady and complex overall. No real traces of booze either.

Taste: Big up front raisins and toffee, with candied dark fruits and berries. Mild chocolate. Big malt sweetness and some vinous characteristics and sharp apple cider vinegar and rooty earthiness. A bit of nice acidic funk too. Finishes complex, drifting, semi-sweet, and lingering. It also seems like the dissipating alcohol has led it to become more of a cake-like brew than a sometimes particularly boozy Belgian when fresh.

Mouthfeel: The second bottle I've said this about recently, but the carbonation has mellowed out into extremely rich and full creaminess that I'm starting to think happens very nicely with these cellared and aging bottles.

Drinkability: Like good Quads should, I'd imagine, this has certainly gotten better with age, along with being much smoother now. There's still a big sweetness there, and I wonder if that would get even less so as it ages more. I'd imagine this could last much longer in the cellar, but after 4 or 5 years, it's still going strong.

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Photo of 4ster
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of mmmbeer
2.78/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

11.2 oz. Belgian stubby, with a freshness date of July 2010, served a bit too cold at Michael's Bistro and Taphouse in a small snifter. It pours a clouded brownish/red that is ruby in the light and is topped with a small, light brown head that retains a thin collar. The aroma is quite vinous, sugary sweet, with a blackberry kick. Think Chambord. It is hugely sweet on the palate, very port-like, with pepper, berries, and maybe some hops near the end. The body is medium, yet syrupy thick, with light carbonation and a medium finish. On the plus side, the alcohol is undetectable, but on the negative side, it is way too sweet and a bit difficult to drink, making me wonder as to why it is rated so highly.

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Photo of DaveBar
3.87/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Purchased at the LCBO 330ml bottle for $3.25. Served at 8deg C in a tulip

A- Opened very well. Nice head, very dark

S- Malty. Metallic smell is pretty harsh

T- Pretty good. Very hot though. To be expected at 11%. roasted malt, almost quadly goodness.

M- Excellent! Very creamy and smooth even with the high ABV.

O- Very good. Will need years and years to simmer down but doubt highly it will ever lose it's hotness.

Food Pairing

This wonderful Donker paired well with... roast beef. Nice root veggies and you have a dinner.

Enjoy

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Photo of Hopfenpeter
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured this beer into my crystal beer mug , the color being dark brown, but held into the light, being very red, almost like a red wine. Little head building , dissipating fast ,but leaving some lacing on the glass.
Smell is dominated by sweet notes like caramel honey and fruits like fig, plum, cherry.
Tasting the beer, the alcohol presence is immediately felt. Sweet caramel and honey up front, followed by by roasted malt flavor in the middle and a nice fruity lingering of plum, fig and dark cherry.
Very smooth sweet beer, with a creamy after feel. Very pleasant!
It is a great beer, which reminds me of doppelbock.
I am glad, I tried this beer!

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Photo of BrewskiBrandon
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Dzu
4.29/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into chalice.
L: Dark red/brown with a weak white foam head.
S: Caramel, dark fruits, raisin.
T: Sweets, plums, complex taste, that i liked.
F: Low cabonation medium body.
O: Veryimpressive quad.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a confident, dense brown with a thin coating of bubbles on top. lacing is pronounced and slides down the side of the glass like a slug. smells very buttery.. yeast toffee and malt notes. fruity with a definite trappist edge in the nose. wow! explodes with banana and berry flavors. taste is a sweet kick with smoothness going down. alcohol is evident but muted by the intense flavor experience here. leaps and bounds above the lighter kasteel. this is a nice, affordable halfway point between rocs grand cru and a trappist quad or dubbel.

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Photo of browniewithnuts
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of chinabeergeek
3.37/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

330ml brown bottle at "beermania", a belgian beer bar in beijing, served in branded chalice.

clear, dark cola w red tint, some head but soon fades to thin ring. minimal lacing.

smells of caramel with phenolic sweetness, something like prune juice. hint of herbal grassiness.

slightly medicinal sweetness on the palate shocks me. again some caramel and candy. faint bitterness. finish starts cloyingly sweet as well, but at least the faint bitterness rounds it out slightly, albeit not enough.

feel is syrupy, with some fluffy carbonation which is otherwise quite gentle. finishes out smoother though.

this thing is just too sweet, without enough other complexities that stand out or even hold their own. maybe passable as a dessert, but even then the medicinal notes might detract from that as well...

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Photo of dipso123
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of daledeee
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Comes in the classic fat belgian style bottle. Pours a very dark brown with a light tan one finger head. This went away but a nice lace stayed throughout this extended drink. 11% ABV can and does slow you down!!

The nose is sweet, caramel, apricot or figs or prune. The taste followed this nose. This beer is made with high standards but is too sweet for my tastes. Caramel and dark fruits prevail. Not a hop profile to speak of. Overall a good beer, but as as I said a tad sweet.

 481 characters

Photo of TonyLema1
4.01/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From 2011
L: murky brown, with a thin but long lasting head
S: I get a plum wine almost sake quality
T: absolutely delicious, so easy drinking, muted dark fruit and a definite sweetness
F: silky, not boozy at all, goes down really easy
O: I'll probably never have an almost 5 year old beer again, this is excellent

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Photo of putnam
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This has the word "Donker" on the label, so I file it here, under the quadrupel style banner.

It is so alcoholic that it doesn't support much foam. I expect barleywine and am greeted instead with a nose of cured, sweet spices from the Indian ocean. Chocolate, cinnamon buns and piney, dry vanilla husks, steeping in moist, tropical perfumes seem to mark the perimeter of the bouquet.
An alcoholic blast of burnt pepper and maple syrup sweetness is evident immediately upon drinking the brown, sweet brine. Chaos reigns in the flavor, but the texture never becomes sloppy. It is a mushroom patch of sweet, woody nectars -- fizzy with youth.

This appears to be an effective budget alternative to world-class quads such as St. B's 12, Westy 12, and Achelse Kluis. $6.75 for a fifth gallon.

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Photo of xJMFCx
4.36/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Kasteel Donker from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
Beer rating: 4.12 out of 5 with 922 ratings